Scripted or not? Dance Moms might have come to an end in September 2019, but that hasn’t stopped fans from re-watching all of their favorite episodes. But, was the show a real reality show or did the cast follow a script?

While Maddie Ziegler, for one, has never answered the question head-on, she did appear to hint that the series, that helped her get her start, didn’t have a script per se. The actress looked back on her Dance Moms days while appearing on a June 2023 episode of the “High Low with EmRata” podcast.

“Last year, I was having a really bad panic attack and I called my mom and things were coming up from the past, and she apologized to me,” Maddie shared of her mom, Melissa Ziegler-Gisoni‘s involvement on the show. “She was like, ‘I’m so sorry I put you through that.’ It’s so sad because she would never want to hurt us, but none of us knew how crazy it would get.”

Keep reading to find out if Dance Moms was scripted.

Was ‘Dance Moms’ Scripted?

While it appears the show wasn’t actually scripted, it appears that some of the stars were highly encouraged by producers throughout filming.

“When I was doing the show in the first season [in 2011], I was 7, and there were male producers saying, ‘This is what you have to say,'” Maddie continued during the same podcast episode. “My mom wasn’t in the room, so I was like, ‘OK, I just have to do whatever I’m being told.’ They would say, ‘Say you’re the best, say you’re better than everyone else, say blah blah blah.'”

Was 'Dance Moms' Scripted? Details From the Original Cast, Quotes, More

This isn’t the first time Maddie has spoken out about the apparent manufactured drama.

“It’s hard to do a reality show when there’s so much crying and drama,” the West Side Story star recalled to USA Today in 2015. “The producers set it up to make us all yell at each other.”

Were the ‘Dance Moms’ Fights Scripted?

While chatting with USA Today, Maddie also shared some interesting tidbits about the moms on the show, including her own.

“You know how I said that moms do fight? The moms have to fake a fight sometimes,” she recalled at the time. “Afterward they just start talking and laugh about it.”

Overall, Maddie added, “It is really real. We do have a really crazy competition life. I have so much fun getting to work with my friends and my teachers and getting to dance. Sometimes, the moms get into too much drama and I don’t really like that. I try to block it out and keep dancing.”

When Did ‘Dance Moms’ Come to an End?

The show aired via Lifetime for eight seasons from July 2011 until September 2019.

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